Fayette residents address underage drinking 5.14

Written by David Green.

Fayette Residents do Their Part to Tackle Underage Drinking

Two Fayette parents recently took to the streets to spread the word about the problem of underage drinking.

Sisters-in-law Pam Seiler and Chris Seiler delivered materials to businesses and agencies in the community designed to inform local citizens about the problem of underage drinking.

Materials promoting the “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” campaign includes information about Fulton County underage drinking statistics; the irreversible damaging effects of alcohol on the teenage brain; and tips for how parents can help their kids stay away from alcohol.

As a parent of a high school junior, Chris Seiler was also involved in Gorham Fayette High School’s after-prom planning efforts this year to provide alcohol-free activities to the students.

Pam Seiler works as a licensed social worker at the Fulton County Opportunity School and has seen some of the negative consequences suffered by students and families due to underage drinking.

“Because teenage alcohol consumption is a huge problem in today’s society, I believe that ‘Parents Who Host Lose the Most’ will have a definite impact in Fulton County,” she said.

Gorham Fayette High School students Brittany Seiler (daughter of Chris Seiler) and Ben Kovar created and recorded radio ads which are being aired on WMTR. Students from each of the six other high schools in Fulton County also produced and recorded radio ads. With the assistance of Fayette principal Dan Feasal, tips for hosting alcohol-free parties and information about the dangers of underage drinking will soon be mailed to the parents of FHS students. 

“Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” is a program of the Drug Free Action Alliance in Columbus. The public awareness campaign is designed to educate parents about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youths. Its main message is that underage drinking is unhealthy, unsafe and unacceptable. Although the campaign message applies year-round, it is especially important during prom and graduation season.

The campaign is sponsored locally by the Fulton County Family and Children First Council and Youth Partnership, a group of individuals concerned about underage drinking in Fulton County. After reviewing statistics related to underage drinking in Fulton County, the Family and Children First Council identified underage drinking as its top priority.

 “Scientific research shows the serious and damaging effects of alcohol on the still-developing brain of youth under the age of 21,” said Mike Oricko, Fulton County Health Commissioner. “We hope the campaign helps people better understand that underage drinking is not harmless. It is no longer enough to say, ‘Don’t drink and drive.’ There are many serious dangers associated with underage drinking.”

Winston Hatcliff, pastor of the Fayette Church of the Nazarene, regularly attends  the monthly Youth Partnership meetings. He has also contributed his time and efforts to the “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” campaign by helping distribute yard signs and a banner and asking mayor Anita VanZile and the Fayette Village Council to adopt a proclamation declaring April as “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” month.

In addition to the village council, the Fulton County Commissioners have also adopted a proclamation.

A major feature of the campaign includes increased efforts by local law enforcement to reduce underage drinking. A grant will pay for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department to increase “party patrols” during prom and graduation season. The Ohio Investigative Unit will also conduct compliance checks at retail businesses with a liquor license in Fulton County, to ensure that alcohol is not sold to customers under the age of 21.

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